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UK Coaching Research Team
Volume 8

A Little Less Talk, a Little More (Collaborative) Action

Article by Professor Chris Cushion on understanding some of the factors that limit the impact of coaching research on coaching practice, as featured in Volume 8 of the Applied Research Journal

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In line with coaching increasingly being perceived as a legitimate profession around the world, and the growth of interest from higher and tertiary education, research interest in sport coaching continues to grow significantly – these factors have resulted in an increase in the volume and scope of scholarly activity related to it (Lyle & Cushion, 2017).

From this work, there is now a considerable landscape of coaching research with a bewildering range of theoretical and empirical perspectives and insights into coaching (Lyle & Cushion, 2010, 2017).

At face value, this growth in research and an apparent depth of empirical work, alongside a seemingly abundant availability of coaching resources and materials seems positive, and on many levels it is.

However, closer scrutiny suggests that despite this growth in activity and resources there remains a lack of an in-depth understanding of coaching. As a result, a conceptual underpinning with which to inform coaches’ practice and coach education remains elusive.

While our research efforts have resulted in a degree of ‘clustering’ of ideas around areas such as ‘coach effectiveness’, ‘decision-making’, and ‘coach education’, these remain contested notions, leaving us with pockets of disconnected research and frustratingly little consensus or clarity.

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UK Coaching Research Team